So, when I joined the company I work for, I had 2 titles and worked at both of them. Approximately 2 years ago, they dropped the first title and left me with the second title, which eliminated the need for me to go out and network with business people in the community. The second title implied inside-office work so that's what I've been up to. Fine. I'm flexible.
For 2 years, I have really not been involved in business associations or attended meetings or functions. Ever since the US went into Iraq (I don't want to be PC and say "invaded" because that would be wrong, right?) in 2003, I've been working my back side off with defense contracting and the like. I've made a lot of friends, but I've been bad about keeping in touch (as you see those friends when you attend the business meetings/events as we are all so busy that you never get to see each other at any other time. Maybe Thanksgiving if you're lucky, but even then, not everybody).
Anyhooser, now the company I work for has dropped the second title and bestowed me yet again with my first title (somewhat "salesey"). Okey dokey. I'm flexible. No problem.
[Personally, I think it was just a matter of the business owner not knowing my personality/me in general. At that point - because I was so rigid at my job on the legal side of the fence - he probably thought I was a downer and not much of a personality. BAM. I'm pretty sure he knows me now.]
I have started to attend the meetings and functions again. I've really missed it.
Last night, I attended an absolutely lovely event at the US Embassy. It was a large gathering and it seemed like I knew everyone in the room, but I just hadn't seen them in years. Some assumed (always wrong) that I went back to the States. I guess that is logical enough, since many expats go home. Not this girl. I'm kind of a lifer.
I saw several people that I hadn't seen in - OMG - almost 10 years. Can it BE that long? Wow. Time flies when you're doing inside-office work. Well, he wasn't the norm. Most I hadn't seen in just a few years. I ran into a Sheikh friend. I ran into a few chairmen friends (not "chairholes" - as I sometimes refer to people in those positions). These are nice guys. So good to catch up.
I also made some new friends. You know - I have a very hard time keeping up with Embassy staff (and to make matters really worse - I am terrible at names. I should create flash cards with photos, but I can't bring my camera to the Embassy). If you think 10 years flies by; what about 2 years? I still think that Peter Alois (who I liked a lot) is the Commercial Attache, for example. But wait, that's not true.
Last night, I met the Sr. Commercial Officer. I've seen him around at various business gatherings, but I never knew who he was or what he did. [I don't know why, but the American community in Kuwait is often the least likely to whip out their business cards at functions. The Brits whip it out at every opportunity. (Sorry, but you do and we like it.) Americans are more - how do I say this - stoic, maybe? I thought it would have been the reverse, but not so.] Anyhoo, this cool guy with awesome hair and I start talking and joking around. On my second glass of (Fanta), I let it slip about the blog. Ooopsie. I usually don't do that (anonymous and all that), but we were talking about some friends of his who will be visiting Kuwait and I said I might be able to point to the right direction. We later exchanged business cards and I found out he was Dude. Let me just say, Department of State, keep sending people like him! Intelligent and holding a high position, but approachable and friendly; as were several of the other "new" faces at the Embassy. Kudos, DOS.
I also feel the same way about the current US Ambassador to Kuwait, Matt Tueller. He is a very busy man, but always stays through the entire duration of most events (rather than dashing in and out like others) and has always made it a point to attend every AUSA event so that he can show his support to US service people in Kuwait. That's admirable. He's also a genuinely nice guy. He will be leaving Kuwait soon and I wonder who will replace him.
Ok, back to me....
I don't think I'm unlike many working people (Kuwaiti or not). You get into a rut. You do your job, get tired, go home to your routine. You don't push yourself to do new things or to leave your bubble. Lately, I've been doing new things, but it has involved the outdoors and not much contact with humans (which has been great, but at some point, you need to speak human again). I'm going to push myself. Well, I kindof have to (for work) until they change my title again. That's fine. I'm flexible....